Dec 26, 2011; Shreveport, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Zach Brown (47) during the game against the Missouri Tigers in the Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium. Missouri won 41-24. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
The off season for the Jets has been offensive to say the least. Offensive in the way players spoke about the dirty laundry in the locker room. Offensive in terms of giving Mark Sanchez an extension and a pat on the back to show support. Then the Jets add more offense by of course adding two more quarterbacks within a week of each other (Drew Stanton and Tim Tebow). The Jets did get defensive by picking up UFA Laron Landry from Redskins. Landry is a safety, but his size make him look like a LB. It has been said due to his size he will be a run stopper. But let’s be honest. When you look at the defense of this team the 3 seasons under Rex Ryan you keep waiting for that next Ray Lewis to emerge. So far nothing. The sacks the Jets would record usually came on the a blitz of some sort or through good down filed coverage. Can the Jets find the new sack machine via the draft. With the 16th pick in April’s draft I am going to spot light North Caolina’s Zach Brown.
The Jets roster show about 10 players listed as LB on the team. Of those 10 only 2 have shown that they can play. Of those 9 Aaron Maybin and Pace are the only names that stand out. The team did resign Bryan Thomas, but he is coming off a an injury which caused him to miss 3/4 of the season.Brown an OLB for NC is listed as 6’2, 232. He is quick to run down the ball carriers and will always make his tackles which is something that defenders seem to forget on game day. In his senior year at NC he recorded 5 1/2 sacks, 1 int, 62 solo tackles and 43 assisted tackles (13 1/2 for losses). In 2011 Eric Smith lead the Jets with tackles. He had 17 more than Calvin Pace. No team wants to have their safety lead in tackles. That just means that the ball carrier is getting passed the men up front. And let us not forget how many tackles Smith missed during the season (Tebow & Cruz – both game changers). Zach can be a good choice for the Jets. Bart Scott has aired he wants to be traded and the team has given him permission to seek a trade. The Jets may have depth at LB but don’t necessarily have talent. Brown has shown, strength, speed and tackling ability. He can be a great pass rusher (4.40 speed) and with Maybin continuing to do what he did last season perhaps the Jets will have 2 legitimate threats.
But if there is anything I have learned following this team for 28 years is, they will never cease to surprise me. Come that first night of the draft anything is possible, just ask the people who witnessed Kyle Brady get drafted.